Ottawa is where you find most national museums in Canada, a great number of unique restaurants, cafes and outdoor activities. You will find most fun with a half hour walking distance from the many downtown hotels. Ottawa is an ideal destination to those looking for fun without a large city feel.
- The Parliament Hill. Most tourist brochures and travel web sites start with the Parliament of Canada. Rightly so. It has to rank as one of the most stunning buildings in the nation. You are welcome to take a tour inside. Do not forget to walk around it and see it from the Ottawa River. It is spectacular.
- The Byward Market. Another tourist attraction is the old market right in the centre of downtown of Ottawa. There are many restaurants, eateries, bakeries, shops, cafes that you can walk to within 10 minutes. It is located just east of the Parliament Hill. If you are up for shopping do not forget the Rideau Centre, Ottawa’s largest shopping mall.
- The Rideau Canal. The canal rivals the Parliament Hill as the most famous landmark of Ottawa. You simply have to experience it. You can walk by it from downtown to the newly developed Lansdowne Park with its patios and beautiful setting. Catch a Canadian Football game or professional soccer match at the TD Place Stadium. During the winter skate along the Canal all the way to Dowse Lake, a small man made lake surrounded by walkways and park. Dowse Lake is a five minute walk to Little Italy with its scores of restaurants and unique cafes. During the summer months you can rent canoes and kayaks at the lake and discover the canal from there.
- The National Museums. Ottawa has great museums. Children will enjoy the Museum of Science and Technology and the Museum of Nature. Adults may appreciate the National Gallery and of course the History Museum and the War Museum. Ottawa is home to 7 of the nations 9 national museums to there is one for every interest.
- Water water and more water. You’d be hard pressed to find another capital that offers more rivers, canals and lakes than Ottawa. Make sure you visit one of the main beaches such as Mooney’s Bay and Britannia Beach, rent a board on the Rideau River or boat in the Ottawa River. If you want to include some outlying areas Carleton Place has a nice beach and the popular Gatineau Park offers great hiking and many beaches by clean lakes surrounded with pristine nordic landscape.